Fashion designer and winner of Amazon's "Making the Cut"
I got to where I am today by not being afraid to make mistakes, by surrounding myself with talented people, focusing on my goals and trusting my gut.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
I started my business with $500 and a cheap, plastic sewing machine. Since then, I have slowly built a global brand that is vertically integrated from my manufacturing team to my retail racks. The keyword in my journey is “slowly,” as it has taken many years and many direction shifts to get to where I am now. My greatest advice is if something isn’t working, prepare to pivot into a direction that works better. I got to where I am today by not being afraid to make mistakes, by surrounding myself with talented people, focusing on my goals and trusting my gut.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Winning the fashion design competition ‘Making the Cut’ on Prime Video in 2020. With judges like Naomi Campbell, Nicole Ricci, Chiara Ferragni, Josheph Altuzara and Heidi Klum, the competition amongst the designs was incredible and transformed me as a designer forever. Along with a global mentorship with Amazon, I relaunched my career with my new namesake label and won one million dollars.
What impact have you made in Bali?
My humble impact on Bali is simple: run a successful business that supports the community around us, produce Bali-made garments that reinforce the reputation of this island as creators of high-quality pieces for a worldwide market, and to champion our employees and the artists I collaborate with. If this can all be achieved with style and grace, I’m happy.
What does 2022 look like for you?
I’ll be launching two new Jonny Cota collections; I’ll be sharing my return to the runway after this pandemic hiatus; and finally, I’ll be planting retail roots here in Bali with our first store on the island.
What do you love most about Bali?
The people in Bali are what I love most about this island. Nowhere in the world do strangers smile at you with such genuine peace, curiosity and grace.
What’s the one thing you could wear for the rest of your life?
A leather jacket – every day and every night.
Who is your Local Legend and why?
My good friend Angie Anggoro who I met over 10 years ago here in Bali and who has been a close creative partner in every campaign I’ve ever captured here. They also happen to be one of the fiercest fashion trailblazers here in Bali when they zip past you on that cream coloured scooter and matching heels. Fabulous.